Morals, Morality and God

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Iapetus
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by Iapetus » August 31st, 2018, 8:18 am

Reply to Tommarcus:

If it helps to state it in a positive fashion,, then it appears that atheism is the belief in the non-existence of any God.


I don’t think it does, really. Atheism is not necessarily a belief but, rather, it is a non-belief. It is an important distinction. There are a few atheists – and I know of only one, who posts on this site – who state unequivocably that God does not exist. I think that can legitimately be called a belief. But most atheists make no such claim.

For Americans and others, I have never heard the Constitution referred to as a set of principles.


Then perhaps I can refer you to the New Oxford American Dictionary which includes the following definition:

“A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed”.

I don’t want to get too picky about this but it has a certain significance in relation to your original post. The vast majority of laws in any constitutional state are not written into the constitution itself. They are instituted by a legal body which makes reference to the constitution. In the United States the prime legal body is the Supreme Court. It does not trouble me greatly if you want to call the Constitution a set of guiding laws or indicative laws but they are certainly guiding principles. Federal and state laws change relatively rapidly but the Constitution, for good reasons, changes very slowly and only through a set of rigorous procedures. This is why, in my post of 26 August, I picked you up on the following comment:

I never said that there wete no laws of separation of Church and state. I said that it was not in the Constitution and it isn't. Our laws have gone far beyond the Constitutional requirement that the Government not establish a religion. Laws are constantly being changed and someday so will this anti-religion trend.

I wrote that Fooloso4 has pointed out the relevant sections of the First Amendment. Do you regard this as a part of the Constitution or not? Does it matter if it is a law or a guiding principle? You have not replied to this issue but I think it is very relevant, if only because of continuing debates over the significance of Roe v Wade and the significance of religious and moral views in the political sphere.

What do you mean when you state that, “Our laws have gone far beyond the Constitutional requirement that the Government not establish a religion”? I do not see any way in which the example you gave illustrates this statement and I explained why. Since you had not replied, I expressed my views to Burning Ghost:

"This is why I tried to engage with Tommarcus in relation to his concern that objections were being made to a manger scene on the town green but he/she did not reply. I would have pointed out that there was space for a manger scene in each and every church in the land, that there are quite a few of these, and that this is freely permissable in law. Why, therefore, should it be assumed that they can be placed anywhere else of the religious group’s choosing, particularly when the First Amendment in in place to control this? Why is there a requirement that ‘in God we Trust’ be included in the print of all US paper currency? Would it make a difference if the government required ‘in Allah we Trust’? Why would a candidate for the highest office in the land (George Bush snr) say, ” …I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God … Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on Atheists”.

I such instances I would suggest that the Government is not going anywhere near far enough in adhering to the principles of the Constitution (capital C for the specific US one).

My fear is that man-made morals can lead to good or bad. My point is that such absolute morals and purpose established by God with our creation are the best morals.

How do you define good and bad? If they are defined by your moral standpoint, then your argument is circular. If you think that the “best morals” (?!) should be based on following orders, then I beg to differ.

tommarcus
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by tommarcus » August 31st, 2018, 9:32 pm

The dictionary is talking about "a" constitution, small "c", not the US Constitution capital "C". The Supreme Court is not the prime legal body in the US. Laws are made by Congress. When laws are passed, a Suoreme Court signature is not required.

Again, the separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. It only states that the Government shall not establish a religion. I am aware that legal decisions have exagerated this to prevent any semblance of religion on public property. That is my point and that us what I object to. I would prefer to see all religions allowed on public property including atheism. Let people have the freedom to decide what they choose to believe. And if you want one major driving principle of the Constitution it is freedom from government interference and its censorship as to what we can say or not say and where we can say it.

Please don't ask me to defend the idiot politicians on the left or right and I won't attribute any of their beliefs to you.

"Good and bad" are not how I define them. It needs to be discovered as to how God defines them, if there is a God. If there isn't a God, then end of discussion. If there is a God, then we better believe that it is more important what he or she believes than what we believe regarding absolute morals. We might never be able to know exactly what that is. However, I think it is less complicated than we think. In any case, we should be able to get close with some serious thought.

Iapetus
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by Iapetus » September 1st, 2018, 3:21 am

Reply to Tommarcus:

You are wriggling and you know it. I asked many specific questions and you ignored them. I understand why.

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Thinking critical
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by Thinking critical » September 4th, 2018, 6:45 am

tommarcus wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 2:30 pm
I absolutely believe that people can be moral without believing in God, as I originally stated in this discussion. My fear is that man-made morals can lead to good or bad. My point is that such absolute morals and purpose established by God with our creation are the best morals. If someone doesn't believe in God, then they are free to believe in morals for which they can persuade themselves and others. However, those that believe in God are constrained by the reasonable and logical actions that can be attributed to a supreme being. This of course demands a definition of God.
I ask this out of genuine curiosity.

Let's say, for the moment I believed your statement to be true "absolute morals and purpose established by god are the best morals".
How, in your opinion, is the knowledge of these morals and purpose obtained?
How can you ever know if the morals are directly descended from god?
If faith is required in order to except such morals it follows that the said morals may not be the best possible morals.
If gods morals are merely expressed by men, what makes them any more significant than man made morals? How can you ever prove the authenticity of their origin?
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 4th, 2018, 10:44 am

tommarcus wrote:
August 31st, 2018, 9:32 pm
"Good and bad" are not how I define them. It needs to be discovered as to how God defines them, if there is a God. If there isn't a God, then end of discussion. If there is a God, then we better believe that it is more important what he or she believes than what we believe regarding absolute morals. We might never be able to know exactly what that is. However, I think it is less complicated than we think. In any case, we should be able to get close with some serious thought.
How?

Belindi
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by Belindi » September 4th, 2018, 10:51 am

My apologies for arriving late at this conversation.
From the original post I copied
Based on recent events we cannot even claim that the world is becoming more ethical, even though it is becoming more technologically advanced.
I don't seek to argue about metaphysics or theology.

Recent events are perhaps not the best indicator. The long term history of morals includes emergence and development of huge religions which all include moral codes. These main religions, despite that some are slow to respond to modernity, have in common the same ideals of justice and reason.These main religions also emerged within the same few centuries (Islam is a variety of Judaism)as did Greek reason and humanism.
True, the past two thousand years have included a lot of what is directly contrary to the spirit of these religions. Much of the evil has been caused by powerful persons' support for ideology rather than facts. Still, the message of justice and reason survives.

tommarcus
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by tommarcus » September 5th, 2018, 11:45 pm

Thinking critical,

I recognized the dilemma that your questions correctly pose in my first comment on this topic in July. Given my premise that given that there is a God that God's morals or purpose for us are the best, then how do we understand what they are without just guessing?

In this dialogue, various commentators have discussed how they would find the answer for thenselves. I can't judge what is best or what works for each. However, I believe that there are certain problems. I don't believe that faith is enough. It might work for many, but people who have faith have morals that are all over the place. So this is not the answer to finding the absolute morals. Expressions by men, no matter how well informed, have the same problem. They are no different than manmade morals.

There is only one way that we could absolutely know what God's absolute morals are and that is if he or she told us. Different people have different ways in which they think that they hear God's message. Some meditate. Some look to nature. Some study or use some other experience. But for me these are not enough and these too are subject to the fallibility of man. And if some being came walking through my door and told me he was God and spoke profoundly, I would call the police.

So how do I think God tells us his purpose or morals for us? I don't want to get preachy but you asked. This is what convinced me when I had my doubts about life and existence. Common sense, science, history and reasoning. The highest virtue is love as far as we can tell. There is only one person in history that taught this simply and exclusively and that was Jesus. Others also taught it but not with the importance and authority given to it by him. He was not an ordinary person and how much you believe about what was reported about him is debatable. Not only was his message of love juxtaposed with his possible supernatural feats, but it makes sense. So yes, God did tell us directly what our greatest moral purpose is, to love. Most people called the police.

Jesus was nice enough to give us some scientific evidence to play with. I recommend the book "Test the Shroud" by Mark Antonacci. It requires knowledge of basic chemistry and physics but I don't think you will have a problem. He scientifically argues that this negative image could only have been produced by radioactivity given the tests so far performed. He wants to test it further using even more advanced scientific techniques. Needless to say, the alchemists did not understand radioactivity nor negative photographic images. But if his tests give even more evidence that this material was produced by a radioactive body 2000 years ago, our job just got easier.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 6th, 2018, 5:58 am

"Jesus was nice enough to give us some scientific evidence to play with. I recommend the book "Test the Shroud" by Mark Antonacci. It requires knowledge of basic chemistry and physics but I don't think you will have a problem. He scientifically argues that this negative image could only have been produced by radioactivity given the tests so far performed. He wants to test it further using even more advanced scientific techniques. Needless to say, the alchemists did not understand radioactivity nor negative photographic images. But if his tests give even more evidence that this material was produced by a radioactive body 2000 years ago, our job just got easier."

LOL

The shroud is a 12thC item. It has been dated with science.
Jesus had nothing to do with it.
It is not radioactive, and never was.
Silly boy

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Thinking critical
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by Thinking critical » September 6th, 2018, 6:59 am

Tommarcus,

My two biggest criticisms of theism and religious doctrines are the emperical claims related to the nature of the Universe and the promotion of a moral high ground.
Neither argument provides the necessary evidence required to support the claims which they make. The first resorts to a metaphysical explanation to account for the emperical observations of a physical Universe.....an obvious fallacy.
The second makes objective claims in regards to the nature of subjective beings while grounding the origin of the claim on something which itself can only be experienced subjectively?

In my opinion, religion needs to be more transparent in it's moral advocacy and promote their ideologies as philosophy as opposed to devine command, at least then there would be some accountability.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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Mark1955
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by Mark1955 » September 6th, 2018, 10:00 am

Thinking critical wrote:
September 6th, 2018, 6:59 am
In my opinion, religion needs to be more transparent in it's moral advocacy and promote their ideologies as philosophy as opposed to divine command, at least then there would be some accountability.
Surely that would defeat the purpose of religion, which is to provide answers you do not question so you do not have to worry that the questionable answers are so very questionable. Whether we rationalists like it or not religion is clearly an evolutionary advantage otherwise it wouldn't still be with us in such profusion. As far as I can see it's only real evolutionary advantage is as described above, that it provides simple fixed answers to complex variable problems so we can get on with staying alive rather than starving to death while interrogating our navels.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

tommarcus
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by tommarcus » September 6th, 2018, 2:34 pm

ThomasHobbes,

The science to which you refer is outdated and has been debunked. Carbon dating relies on measuring the radioactive decay of a Carbon isotope. However, the introduction of carbon to a sample, such as through a fire, contaminates the sample to the point where reliable dating is not possible. The Shroud of Turin was burnt in a fire during the Middle Ages as evidenced by the significant burn marks on it.

Now if you think this was created in the 12th Century why don't you explain how. Or why don't you try to give a credible theory. Just remember, there is no pigmentation, except blood, on this material and the image is a negative, not a positive. So don't forget to explain why someone would make a fake image that was a negative photographic image during a time when no one knew what a negative image was.

Suggest you read the book. If you don' t understand the science it is worthwhile to get help from someone who does.

Burning ghost
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by Burning ghost » September 6th, 2018, 3:40 pm

Leonardo’s first photograph.
AKA badgerjelly

tommarcus
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by tommarcus » September 6th, 2018, 5:45 pm

Burning ghost.

Was that like his first helicopter?

But still Leonardo was born about 1452. As our good friend has pointed out the Shroud was referred to at least as early as the 12th century.

tommarcus
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by tommarcus » September 6th, 2018, 8:56 pm

Thinking critical,

I am in agreement with the gist of your second paragraph although I may say it differently. I strongly believe that all religions shouid be held accountable by the logic and reasonable thinking which is required by good philosophy. Too much nonsense has been promulgated about God and theology by self-proclaimed religious authorities which defy basic reason and common sense. If you believe in God much of this is an insult to God and religion in general. If you don't believe in God, much of this is an insult to your intelligence.

Good philosophical arguments about what it means to be God and to lead the best life possible, morally and otherwise, would mitigate the need for divine command. It would all make good, cogent sense.

Burning ghost
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Re: Morals, Morality and God

Post by Burning ghost » September 6th, 2018, 9:35 pm

tommarcus wrote:
September 6th, 2018, 5:45 pm
Burning ghost.

Was that like his first helicopter?

But still Leonardo was born about 1452. As our good friend has pointed out the Shroud was referred to at least as early as the 12th century.
Yes, but as you have already said it was burnt etc.,. The point being any theory works to suit your argument.

Not getting involved. It’s a **** stupid point! Go to another forum for dumb anti-science views or stay on topic.

Ps. Sorry if your views are too far out there. You won’t find blind agreement here.
AKA badgerjelly

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